Our offseason spotlight series continues today with Georgia Tech. A reminder: This series features individual players, position groups and coaches who really need to have big offseasons -- starting this spring.
Spotlight: Defensive tackle T.J. Barnes, 6-foot-7, 347 pounds, senior
2011 summary: He played in all 13 games last year as a backup and finished with 11 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and one sack. He’s the biggest player on the Jackets’ roster, and he had his best game against Clemson with 1.5 tackles for loss, a sack and two tackles. He proved he can give Georgia Tech’s pass rush a boost, but he’s got to do it more consistently.
The skinny:Barnes has been the backup to Logan Walls the past few years, but now he has to demonstrate he can play every down and not just play 15 snaps a game. Coach Paul Johnson has said he’s looking for more from the defense in the third season under coordinator Al Groh’s 3-4 scheme, but they have to replace two starters up front and will need more from Barnes. Barnes has only started three career games, none of which were last year. Football is in Barnes’ family, as his father, Terry Jones, played at Auburn, and his brother, Beau Reliford, played at Florida State.